Defense in the alternative

Apparently Tony Blair and his friends can’t decide what to do about the David Kelly case. Up to now, their line has been that the BBC fabricated its report that Kelly had said that the Blairites with ordered that intelligence about Iraqi WMDS be “sexed up.” (*) But their new story seems to be that Kelly, a scientist for the Ministry of Defense who committed suicide after being cross-examined by a House of Commons committee investigating the allegations, was in the grip of “Walter Mitty” fantasies.(*)

Putting aside the ethics of making rude remarks about a dead man before he’s even been buried, I don’t think the PM and his supporters can have it both ways.

I rather admire Blair, and wish he were here running as the Democratic candidate for President, but this looks bad. Perhaps the British inquiries will eventually shed some light on what UK intelligence had or had not “learned” about the Iraqi WMD program.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: